South Carolina lawmakers are proposing a ban on the sale of energy drinks to children, after a deadly incident linked to high amounts of caffeine.
Last April, Davis Cripe, a 16-year-old sophomore, suddenly collapsed at his South Carolina high school.
In the two hours prior, he drank a large soda, a latte, and an energy drink.
The medical examiner told his parents that their son died from a “caffeine-induced cardiac event.”
Energy drinks can contain up to 300 milligrams of caffeine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends adults consume no more than 400 milligrams a day, which is the equivalent of about five cups of coffee.
“Most of the cans, they put a label on it that says ‘not recommended for children,’ so I don’t understand why we are selling them to children,” said Sean Cripe, Davis’s father.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association urge adolescents to drink limited high-caffeine beverages, or none at all.
An estimated 68 percent of adolescents consume energy drinks.
In South Carolina, lawmakers have introduced a bill that would ban the sale of energy drinks to anyone under eighteen.
“We treat it just like we do alcohol. In the state of South Carolina, a kid can’t walk into a store and buy a beer or buy cigarettes,” stated the bill's author, State Representative Leon Howard.
The South Carolina Beverage Association opposes the bill and says “a sales ban on any one product would be arbitrary and discriminatory.”
“We just want to help save people’s kids,” said Heidi Cripe, Davis’s mother.
The Cripes feel they owe their son’s memory nothing less.
Experts also caution that both kids and adults who consume high levels of caffeine experience headaches, sleep problems, and faster heart rates.